arcade gaming and self-made arcade cabinets, but honestly - our worst nightmare are those endless JAMMA harness soldering sessions when connecting joysticks, buttons, speaker, display and so on. This calls for some action!
Vision Imagine a rugged and reliable interface for JAMMA-compatible arcade PCBs. The interface should simplify system integration of all electronic components which are usually needed for a do-it-yourself arcade cabinet project. Instead of having to deal with more than 40 individual cables, we would like to connect each component via common plugs and/or sockets thus reducing manual soldering to a minimum. Moreover, common functionality, like color adjustments, test button etc. should already be provided by the interface as well.
Solution Yeah, let's develop a PCB (printed circuit board) which connects to all major components which are usually needed in a self-made arcade cabinet, e.g. power supply, joysticks and buttons for two players, speaker, display and the aracde gameoboard itself, of course.
PCB development requires serious CAD tools and plenty of electronic engineering know-how.
Components have to placed accordingly, traces have to be optimized, circuits have to be debugged and so on...
After several weeks of finalizing our design, we have been transferring our CAD files to a PCB factory and finally receive our first boards.
There is still some manual work for us to do, since the factory only delivers the raw PCBs without components. However, soldering components to our PCB is quite relaxing. The final result is rather impressive, let's look at the specs:
JAMMA Connector A 56-pin JAMMA connector is going to connect to any JAMMA-compatible arcade gameboard. We have been using high-quality connectors from the japanese electronics supplier Hirose which are rather expensive but the advantage is obvious: Even unused pins will remain firmly seated in the connector unlike in cheaper versions. The following table provides an overwiev of the JAMMA connector standard. The pins which are supported by our Interface are marked in yellow color. Even the unused pins are available on our interface, making future modifications easy.
|Parts Side||Solder Side|
|Coin Counter 1||8||J||Coin Counter 2|
|Lock Out Coil 1||9||K||Lock Out Coil 2|
|Speaker Pos||10||L||Speaker Neg|
|Audio Pos||11||M||Audio GND|
|Video Red||12||N||Video Green|
|Video Blue||13||P||Video Sync|
|Video GND||14||R||Service Switch|
|Test Switch||15||S||Tilt Switch|
|Coin Switch 1||16||T||Coin Switch 2|
|Player 1 Start||17||U||Player 2 Start|
|Player 1 Up||18||V||Player 2 Up|
|Player 1 Down||19||W||Player 2 Down|
|Player 1 Left||20||X||Player 2 Left 2|
|Player 1 Right||21||Y||Player 2 Right|
|Player 1 Button 1||22||Z||Player 2 Button 1|
|Player 1 Button 2||23||a||Player 2 Button 2|
|Player 1 Button 3||24||b||Player 2 Button 3|
|Player 1 Button 4 *||25||c||Player 2 Button 4 *|
|not used||26||d||not used|
(*) The buttons 4 for players 1 and 2 are not defined in the JAMMA standard. Nevertheless, we are providing the 4th buttons on our interface anyway since this it will be compatible to SNK's Neo Geo MVS arcade mainboards.
D-Sub 15-pin plugs (male) are wired according to Neo Geo MVS/AES standards
We have been using well-known industry standards whenever possible.
Therefore, we have been designing both control panel ports (player 1 and 2) according to SNK's Neo Geo MVS/AES standards.
Each control port provides a joystick, four action buttons, start and coin-in as well as the 5 volts supply.
We have even been remodeling SNK's legendary "double pins 4 and 9" for the 4th button, btw.
You can either extend these control ports, plug in any MVS/AES comaptible joystick/-pad or even use a NeoGeo-to-PlayStation adapter.
We have been trying out this
with a PlayStation 1 dual shock pad.
If you would rather like to build your own custom control panel with microswitches, you should have a look at our controlpanel PCBs. These allow for easy connection to leaf- or microswitches.
|2||not connected||not connected|
|4||D Button||Button 4|
|5||B Button||Button 2|
|9||D Button||Button 4|
|10||not connected||not connected|
|12||C Button||Button 3|
|13||A Button||Button 1|
Power Supply A power supply can be connected via 4-pin Molex-type socket. This is a common plug type which has been frequently used in floppy disk drives, CD-ROM drives and so on. Instead of providing a second ground connector, you can connect -5 volts here which may be rarely used by old arcade game boards. All voltage pins are clearly labelled on the interface.
Speaker The JAMMA standard requires to connect an 8-Ohm speaker (mono) here. Since JAMMA-compatible arcade gameboards are supposed to provide an amplified signal with volume control, not much has to be sone here. A standard cinch connector can be used to connect the speaker directly. Do not connect this to an television set or the input of an amplifier! The signal is already amplified and may harm your componet and/or gameboard!
RGB-Video An HD D-Sub 15-pin connector (female) provides 15 kHz RGB-video standard The video output will be provided by a 15-pin HD D-Sub socket. The 15 kHz analogue RGB-signal uses composite synch and can be used with compatible mutisync- or arcade monitors directly. A standard 15-pin VGA cable may be used for connecting the dsiplay but please beware: The video output is still 15kHz RGB video from your JAMMA game boards. Any connected display (multisync, arcade monitor whatever) has to support 15kHz RGB video! Connecting a standard PC-monitor may result in damage to the monitor!
|4||Monitor ID2||not connected|
|6||Ground (Red)||Video GND|
|7||Ground (Green)||Video GND|
|8||Ground (Blue)||Video GND|
|9||Key (no pin)||not connected|
|10||Synch Ground||Video GND|
|11||Monitor ID0||not connected|
|12||Monitor ID1||not connected|
|13||Horizontal (Composite-) Synch||Video Sync|
|14||Vertical Synch||not connected|
|15||Monitor ID3||not connected|
If you do not own a tv set with RBG SCART input or a multisync display then you may be interested in our RGB to NTSC video encoder (not included!). The picture shows our JAMMA interface (right) which is docked to our NTSC video encoder (left).
Moreover, we have been providing buttons for Test and Service mode on the interface as well.
Of course, these will only work if your arcade board does support these functions.
A red LED will indicate if a power supply (5 volts) is connected and active. On some switching power supplies you may see a pulsing LED if no arcade board is connected. This is perfectly okay, since swiching power supplies usually adjust themselves to the load attached.
The results are quite amazing - picture quality is superb on our multisync display and the control ports are fully functional without errors.
We are using our JAMMA Supergun/MAK interface whenever we need a hassle-free integration of components into cabinets. For example - we have been using our interfaces in all all of our Arcade Table Workshop creations as well.
Here is the good news for all do-it-yourself arcade cabinet project leaders:
We are offering our remaining interface boards on a first-come, first-serve basis for 79,- € each (incl. VAT)
(excluding packaging and postal fees, ask for details, please).
All boards are tested and working flawlessly. For questions, please refer to us via email. This is a private sale, so no returns or refunds, sorry.
If you are interested, please contact us via email at
Next steps? We have already been designing a set of small (AES/MVS-compatible) control panel PCBs (german language only) for those who would like to create their own custom control panel and connect to our interface.
All references to the JAMMA standard refer to the JAMMA «First Edition».
Errors and omissions excepted. All descriptions and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Some questions and answers regarding our JAMMA Supergun/MAK Interface PCB:
Some questions and answers regarding our control panel Interface (german language only!) PCBs: